Class 3 – Moral Values

Class 3

The Responsibility for Ethical Education

What we mean by ethical education is the set of ethical principles and moral values that have to be inculcated in the child, for him/her to grow up as a fully functional individual and an asset to the Ummah. Evidently, such ethical principles and moral values are the product of righteous religious upbringing.

So, it is clear that when the child is brought up, from his/her tender years, upon belief in Allah, he/she will develop an innate faculty for acceptance and pursuit of moral standards and values and noble behavior. Similarly, if the child is brought up in an atmosphere that is not practising the religion, the parents will sooner or later realise that their upbringing has not reaped the fruit that they had hoped for.

Many teachings of the Prophet ﷺ indicate the great responsibility on the part of parents regarding bringing up children on the noble, moral values of Islam. Such responsibilities involve educating them to be truthful, honest, upright, and unselfish. Also included here is training children to be respectable in word and deed, veering away from abuse and insults and similar faults. As opposed to this, they train children respect for elders, generosity, living in amity with neighbors, benevolence towards the poor and orphans, and affection for the indigent.

Moral Values to Teach our Children

There is a saying: “Those who are not taught [manners] by their parents, will be taught by the world.” and the world is clearly a mess, so we do not want our children to scramble and get dirty in it. So let us make the efforts to teach the moral values and manners.

1. Respect

Respect for the other and authority is an important value in society. Alongside respect children learn other values such as self-discipline and patience. The conduct of the child is often a reflection of the nature of upbringing. Parents caring for the future of their children will not leave it to the ‘school of hard knocks.’

2. Humility

It may sound self-defeating to teach a child humility in an era when a child has to grow in ‘self-belief’ and ‘confidence’. However, humility is about being graceful in achievement without pride and arrogance. It is also about acknowledging that you have shortcomings for which you apologize especially when another has been inconvenienced by your action or omission.

3. Responsibility

To be responsible is to honor our commitments. Even at a young age, children show interest in performing duties and chores around the home. This has to be encouraged to lay a foundation for taking up more responsibilities of their own personal hygiene, maintaining cleanliness in their own spaces, caring for their possessions and so on. This inculcates discipline and helps to develop a sense of even more responsibility as they become of age.

4. Obedience

Iblis’s fall from grace was due to his arrogance and disobedience. How often do we see defiance to authority as an act of bravery? “Rules are made to be broken,” so goes the rebel’s refrain. A good parent gives latitude but knows where to draw the line. It is important to remain firm and consistent in re-enforcing obedience by using appropriate rewards and sanctions.

5. Politeness

It is common courtesies and good manners towards others that set apart a refined character and an intolerable personality. By teaching our children how to greet, express gratitude, how to speak to adults and even to leave alone matters that do not concern them, we would have given them a key to the door of inter-personal relations. Civility costs nothing but it’s worth much.  

In the home situation, it should not be hard for a son who learns by hearing a father saying ‘sorry’ to a mother. “…No one is humble for the sake of Allah without Allah elevating him.” [Muslim]

6. Honesty

Parents sometimes interrogate children in a prosecutorial manner, demanding answers that put children on the defensive. It is important to encourage children to always say the truth by showing that you care and that their honesty and not ‘cover-ups’ leads to solutions that they can be at ease with. Teach children that it is truth that sets one free.

The Almighty commands us: “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. (4:135)

7. Friendliness

In an environment where we teach our children not to ‘speak to strangers’; it is difficult to strike a balance between caution against those who can take advantage of our young ones and being friendly. Regardless, where possible, our children need to be sociable. 

Abu Dharr Radhi-Allahu anhu reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Your smile to your brother is a sadaqah (charitable act) for you.” (Tirmidhi) So, do not respond to your child’s smile with a hostile: “What’s funny?!”

8. Help/push them become brave

Nowadays parents prefer scaring the children just to keep them under control – while for somethings it is necessary but over-doing it makes them fragile and weak, instead of scaring them we should be working hard to make them brave. Help them; push them to become Men & Women who will bravely stand for justice & to help the deen of Allah.

There were Sahaba who were taking part in battles at the age of 15 like Usama bin Zayd, in fact he was appointed as a commander of an army for an expedition when he was 18 or 20yrs old. The great scholar of Islam – Ibn Abbas – is another great example of how he was part of the shura council of Omar R.A.

This is only possible when we work to make them brave, responsible and righteous.

9. Teach them to speak up & stand for Justice

Making your children free to talk will ensure a transparent mind. So provide your children with a healthy environment for discussion and learning. Always tell them to stand for justice amongst siblings, cousins and outside. Reward them when you see an act of courage done for Justice.

10. Patience

Patience is a very very important thing that we need to develop in our children. Do not just buy or give them everything they demand because you can, this spoils them and makes them feel entitled which has a negative effect on their actions.

As educators we shoulder an enormous responsibility of not only imparting education to our learners, but more importantly, to use this opportunity to shape and mould the minds and hearts of those under our care to become vigilant, shariah and law abiding citizens.


As long as noble education in Islam depends on strict observation and steady supervision, then it is the duty of fathers, mothers, and teachers to be alert to such abuses: 

1. Lying is one of meanest attributes from the religious point of view. Parents have to observe children’s behavior in this respect, and try their best to show the young the harms of the habit of lying. Thus, since upright education depends on the noble model by parents, they (parents) have to avoid lying to young ones, even if they are desirous or making children stop crying; lying in such circumstances would eventually destroy the confidence of the young in their parents. That is why we see our first educator, the Prophet, advised parents not to lie to children, even if they meant to just attract their attention or for fun. Here we have Abu Dawud relating on the authority of ‘Abdullah Ibn Amir  that he said, “One day my mother called me when the Messenger of Allah was with us in our home. She said, ‘Come on, to take this!.’ Then the Prophet said to her, ‘What do you intend giving him She said, *I am going to give him dates.* Then the Prophet said, *Beware, if you do not really want to give anything, that would be a lie foreordained on you”

Again Ahmad relates from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah said, “Anyone who says to a child: ‘Come on and have this and does not actually give it to him; then this is a definite lie.”

2. Theft is no less dangerous than telling lies; and it is usually rampant in communities deprived of righteous upbringing based on the values of Islam. So it is imperative for parents to instill in the young the sense of observance or religious behavior and fear of Allah, together with the evil results of theft in this world and in the Hereafter.

Sometimes there are cases where parents are not dissuaded from their children’s contrived thefts, especially when the child may claim that what he got was not through theft, but through having gifts from friends or through leftovers. There are even cases of parents encouraging their children to steal, and in such cases, such youngsters grow into persistent criminals. An extreme case is attributed to a youngster, who was convicted of theft by a Shari’ah court, and he was to have his hand cut off. So the boy cried to the judges, “Before you cut my hand, cut off my mother’s tongue. The first time I committed that crime was when ] picked up an egg from one of our neighbor’s house; but my mother did not rebuke me; nor did she order me to return it where it belonged. On the contrary, my mother uttered the trill of joy, and said, ‘Thanks to Allah! My son is now a man!’ ‘So without these words, I would never have become a thief.”

3. Abuses and Insults: these are some of the acts of misbehaviour that have been often currently heard for many reasons. Of these reasons is that the child probably heard the same abuses and insults from adults. Another reason is in an environment  where children are left to mingle with other unknown children without supervision. Thus, it is the founded duty of parents to present exemplary behavior to these young ones in the form of polite speech, and in constant attempts to keep them away from offensive and insulting companions. Together with this, they should tell them to beware of loose talk, and to learn the Ahadith forbidding such abusive language. For here is the Hadith, related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim, which says,”Abusing a Muslim is an immoral act, and fighting against him is disbelief “. Another Hadith says, “One of the most grievous offenses is that a man should curse his parents”. Then the Prophet was asked, O Messenger of Allah, how does a Muslim curse his parents?” Then the Prophet answered, “A man may abuse another person’s father, then the other person abuses the speaker’s father; or a man may abuse another person’s mother, then the other person abuses the speaker’s mother,” This Hadith is related by Ahmad and Al-Bukhari. Another Hadith related by At- Tirmidhi says, “A believer should not be an offender, nor should he be one who curses, or be abominable, or loathsome/’

4. Indulgence and Dissolution: such behavior has become rampant among our younger generation nowadays, boys and girls alike, due to their exposure to social media, thus, getting more and more inclined to corruption and immorality. To them, life now seems to be timely enjoyment, shamelessness and lawless activities. If they miss such misbehavior, then life seems to have no purpose. Of course, we find that the Messenger ﷺ has set for all parents and educators the practical principles and righteous ideas for training children on upright behavior and true Muslim morals.

Among these are:

i. Warning Against Blind Mimicry

Here, Al-Bukhari and Muslim related that the Prophet ﷺ said, “Behave differently from the atheists by shaving the mustache and keeping the beard“, or after the relation of Muslim, “Cut off the moustache, and keep the beard, and thus be different from the Magans“. As related by At-Tirmidhi, the Hadith runs thus. “Anyone of us who dons the garb of others is not one of us; do not don the garb of Jews or Christians.” Another Hadith also related by At-Tirmidhi says, “Let not anyone of you be an opportunist who would say, go with my company; if they do good, I do the like; if they behave badly, I do the same. ‘ But get into the habit of doing good if the people do good; and if they misbehave, avoid their misbehavior.”

Today, parent proudly show off their child delivering dialogues from their favourite movies or enacting scenes and dances. Following the western culture and acting like them is seen as the “cool” thing to do and anyone shunning these acts are called backward and narrow minded.

2. Forbidding Excessive Enjoyment

Here we have the divine words, “Thereafter, indeed you will be definitely questioned about bliss . ” Also we have Mua’z Ibn Jabal saying, “Beware of excessive enjoyment, for the true worshippers of Allah do not indulge in excessive enjoyment/’

In the two authentic hooks, it is related that ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattab  wrote to the Muslims in Persia, saying, “Beware of excessive enjoyment and the garbs of polytheists.” What is intended by enjoyment here is to be immersed in what is delicious, and to roll over incessantly in wealth and luxury.

There are many parents today whose life revolve around allowing their children to “enjoy” their lives without differentiating between right and wrong, in any form, such as dancing, watching indecent content on the TV, allowing them to mingle freely with the opposite gender and so on.

3. Music and Singing

In a Hadith by the Prophet ﷺ related by Al-Bukhari, Ahmad and Ibn Majah, we read, “Indeed there will be in my nation some people who regard adultery permissible, wearing silk, drinking wine, and playing music permissible.”

Another Hadith related by At-Tirmidhi after Abu Musa  says, “Anyone who listens to songs, will not be allowed to listen to the rauhaneein {reciters of the Quran) in the Garden.’ Needless to say that anyone with good judgment would realize that listening to such prohibitions leads the young to the dark hole of sex, luxury, depravity and immorality!

4. Dressing, speaking and acting like the opposite gender

From the two authentic books after Sa’id Ibn Al-Musayyab, we read, “Once Mu’awiyah came to Madinah and addressed us, and then brought a ball of hair and said, ‘I never saw anyone with his hair like this, except the Jews, The Messenger of Allah called it forgery.” In the words related by Muslim, Mu’awiyah was reported to have said, “You have done mischief by adopting such evil clothing, and the Prophet forbade such forgery.”

Again, it is reported after Al-Bukhari, Abu Dawud, and At-Tirmidhi from Ibn Abbas that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “May the curse of Allah fail upon the effeminate men, and virile women.”

In the wording of Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and Ibn Majah, the Prophet ﷺ said, “May the curse of Allah fall on women acting like men, and men acting like women.”

Then Abu Dawud relates, “I saw the Messenger of Allah take a piece of silk cloth in his right hand, and a piece of gold in his left, and said, ‘Surely this is forbidden to the males of my nation.'”

So wigs, using gold ornaments, or silk clothes for men is not permissible. Similarly, effeminacy, adopting virility, and being partly-dressed but partly-bare on the part of women all of these are effeminate and dissolute manners, and lead to effacing virility and humiliating the human personality.

5, Unveiling, Flaunting, Intermixing and Prohibited Viewing

Allah SWT says,

  • O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies. That will he better, that they should he known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is liver Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Al-Ahzab, 59)
  • Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts). That is purerfor them. Verily; Allah is All-Aware ofwhat they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things) and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent and to draw their veils over Their bosoms and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands*..” (An-Nur, 30-31)

As for flaunting, we have the command: “And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance.” (Al-Ahzab, 33) Here, we have Imam Muslim in his Sahih, after Abu Hurairah that the Prophet ﷺ said, “Two categories are destined for Hell, and I have not seen them, a category that holds whips similar to cows’ tails; with these whips, they beat human beings. Another category is a band of women partly-dressed, partly-bare, swaying right and left trying to attract men’s attention, their hair drooping like camels’ humps. These (people) will not enter the Garden, and will not even smell its scent, although its scent can be smelted at a distance of five hundred seasons. “

Forbidding Intermingling of the Sexes

Allah SWT has forbidden intermixing, for He says “And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen: that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts” (Al-Ahzab, 53)

Here we also have the Hadith, related by At-Tirmidhi that the Messenger ﷺ said, “Let not any man have privacy with a woman, for then, Satan will be their third.”

Again, in the two authentic books (As-Sahihayn), the Messenger of Allah ﷺ is quoted as saying, “Beware of entering places where women reside! “Then a man said, “O Messenger of Allah, even if he is a relative (brother) of the husband?” Then the Prophet ﷺ answered, “A relative (in this case) is death.” Finally, we have the Hadith related by Imam Muslim, that the Prophet ﷺ said when he was asked about an unintended sudden look, “Turn your look away.”

So it should now be understood that when human communities and nations adopt such Divine principles, and adopt such modes of behavior and avoid all attributes alien to righteousness and virtues such as: unveiling, intermingling of the sexes, and all sorts of prohibitions, then such communities will undoubtedly lead a life of purity and virtue, enjoy peace and security, and could aspire to achieve happiness and glory. Such are, dear parents and educators, the main educational principles and practical methods set by Islam for ethical behavior, the growth of personal morality, and good manners.

Finally, we have to remind ourselves of the role of close observation and the heavy responsibility on our part to ensure the righteous behavior of our children. If we search for the causes for dissolute morality of children and their deviant behavior, we shall find it resulting from our disregard of the trust on the part of parents, and neglecting their education and guidance.


Develop in them the spirit of remembering Allah in all their conduct and circumstances. This can be achieved by training the child to know that Allah sees him and knows his secrets and what he harbours, and He knows the treacherous look of the eyes and whatever the breast conceal. The educator must train the child to remember Allah in what he does and teach him to be sincere to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, in all his utterances and deeds, and teach him that Allah does not accept any deed from him, unless he does it only for His Sake. The educator also has to train the child to remember Allah when he thinks, that is, by training him to make reckoning with himself, and train him to observe Allah when he feels so, so that he may attain the rank of Ihsan (right action or goodness) and sincerity to worship Allah as though you are seeing him, and while you do not see him, He truly sees you.

Some Causes of Children’s Deviation

  1. A father that may show laxity in observing that his children should not mix with evil associates, from which they acquire many of their patterns of devious and immoral behavior.
  1. A father who allows his children to attend shows that offer scenes of dissolute behavior, or that present films of violence. Such a father is actually pushing them into an abyss of perilous destruction.
  1. A father who does not stop his children from buying immoral papers and magazines, or from reading erotic books, will not stop his children from abomination and vice.
  1. A father who is lenient about veiling his spouse and daughters, and is heedless of their unveiling and flirting, or their mingling with other flirting companions, such a father is helping his children to fall into vice and dishonor; and this may end up with defilement, and voiding their chastity. Then neither remorse nor tears would be of any avail. It would be necessary for a father to have a look at his children’s desks and observe their writings; for it may be that these children acquire whatever they like in the way of pornographic pictures, wanton papers, or love-letters; and here strict supervision is badly needed.

To Parents and Educators

With all that we have presented on the right behavior of children, with all that has been said that right behavior is an outcome of true belief, with alt of the vicious influences to which your children are subjected, with all that has been presented about the reasons for deviant character, and dissolute behavior, it seems now there is no other way, except that you adopt a resolute stand for all religious values in the upbringing of your children. It is towards them whom you have to shoulder your responsibility for their education, teaching and care. You have to know that any negligence in this respect, would lead them to grow impotent, dissolute, and vicious.

So be apprehensive of the warnings from Allah, and be very observant of their behavior. Such observance will definitely help towards seeing your children flourishing before your eyes, as brilliant youths in society, as if they were angels treading on the earth, secure and serene.